Comments for How to avoid crowds at Walt Disney World by getting there early – but not too early

15 Comments

  1. Ronney

    This all of course, depends on the time of the year. In 2014 we went to WDW 3 times. January, September and Thanksgiving week. 2015 we went back in January and will go back again in September. Even with a family of 8, 6 of those being kids we have had no problem making it through the crowd and riding 7DMT within 15 minutes of parking opening by heading there first. We have not tried Anna and Elsa though so I can’t say how that would work out. We always arrive before rope drop and always get all the majors done before 10:30 and then head to our lunch ressie at 11:00AM. We have done the same thing with TSMM and had no problem pretty much walking right on even with a 2 and 5 year old in a double stroller. This trip, January 2015 though by the time we got done with 7DMT at 9:15 the wait time was at 60 minutes so I can see how it might not work out for all, but we did good. We did have FP for 7DMT a few days of our trip and TSMM and ended up hitting Rockin instead on our HS day and Space Mountain on our MK day. That is way less stressful! I’ll admit, we often arrive no later than 7:45AM and are usually the first family at the turnstile 🙂 That hour isn’t wasted. We’re with our kids and having fun! I do enjoy having everything done by early afternoon and going to our dinner ressie after that.

  2. Dave - WDW Guided Tours

    Ronney……You have great points and it sounds like you have made out very well using the early technique! It is amazing how many guests show up at 11:00 and are surprised at how long the lines are. Thanks for reading and enjoy your next trip to Walt Disney World! – Dave

  3. Sarah

    We ALWAYS arrive an hour to an hour and a half before opening. Restful vacation?! Nope! But we spent a ton of money to ride all the rides, and we always have about 15 done and ridden by the end of the day. I always feel bad when I hear that a family has only ridden say 5 or so rides in a day! It works, you just have to make it works, and get up! 🙂 🙂 cannot WAIT to go again.

  4. christopher

    get a fast pass for mine carts start at Winnie the pooh go left hitting little mermaid peter pan then head towards hm then btm and splash then go adventure land hit pirates and jungle by then fast pass for mine carts is good hit mc then finish off tommorow land i do this all the time and don’t hit any bad line at all till tomorrow land bc ppl run straight for mine carts after finishing the rides around parks hit the shows

    1. Kristi

      What time do you normally get your fastpasses for Mine Cart?

  5. Jessica

    We went early to see Anna and Elsa, because we weren’t able to get a FP. We were at the very front of the line, so we were in the shade whereas the people even two back were in the blazing sun (we were there the first week of June 2014). We still had a great view of the opening show. We also had a cast member who saw how my girls were dressed, and informed us about the rope, the merges, and where exactly to cut out of the rush to get into the line for them. We waited less than 20 minutes, made my girls day! And after seeing them, they seemed to forget that we had already waited an hour to just get into the parka, and were re enwrgized. It made for a magicaL day!

  6. Paige

    Does this apply to EMH? We are going over the Spring Break week (last week in March–YIKES) and MK will have EMH every day that week. I’m assuming we won’t get fastpasses and my elementary kids are early risers anyway. If I’m going during EMH should I still avoid 7DMT and Anna/Elsa? What if EMH is at 7 am? THANKS!!!

    1. Dave - WDW Guided Tours

      Paige – Right now the earliest EMH is looking like 8:00 that week (although that could change). Like I mentioned, almost everyone that will be there for rope drop will be looking to go to Anna and Elsa or Mine Train. So, you could certainly try to be near the front of the group and hope that many people won’t pass you. Since it is spring break, you may want to try that and hope you get lucky. The lines will probably average 2 hours and more than likely won’t have any lulls throughout the day. Good luck and have fun!

      1. Paige

        Thanks for the response! I’m certainly hoping that they will choose one of the days to have a super early EMH! So, good to know that the advice holds for EMH times too. On to Tomorrowland!!!

        1. Dave - WDW Guided Tours

          My pleasure! I’d love to hear how you make out. Have fun!

  7. Erin

    So which rides do you recommend heading to at park open? My kids are older and don’t care about Anna or Elsa and I’m hoping to score a FastPass for the Mine Train. So where should we head when the park opens? I’m thinking Tomorrowland might be our best option as there’s a few things there that are must-do’s for us!

    1. Dave - WDW Guided Tours

      Hi Erin – Since your kids are older, I’d suggest heading to Adventureland and Frontierland first. You could knock out Thunder, Splash, Jungle, and Pirates before most people even arrive. I would use FP for Space and Buzz for late morning, if that is what you were heading for. You could get a Speedway FastPass as an add-on later on. Have fun!

  8. Holly

    So I’m trying to figure out the new fastpass+ system.
    We had the old system DOWN. I don’t do the roller coasters so my family would head for space mountain and I would head over and get run away railroad, they were using that one and I’d be getting the next….

    We usually park hop. My inclination is to get the FPs for the 2nd park but I was told you could get more after you use your 3 so is it better to use them late morning at the first park?
    I hate that they are limiting them to 1 park a day. When it comes to say Epcot we would only bother with Soarin as you can’t do both Soarin and Test Track. We always find there is sometime during the day that mission space is fine to walk on and all the rest we ride when there is no line. We have always been able to ride everything except Soarin if we get to the park 2nd.

    1. Dave Drumheller

      Holly…..You can only “reserve” FastPasses in advance at one park. Once you use them, you could get additional ones at any park you’d like. However, currently you have to be in that park to get them at a kiosk. Stay tuned for today’s Tour Guide Tuesday as it pertains directly to your question!

  9. Kris

    I wanted to share my experience with meeting Anna and Elsa on 2/1. The park opened at 9:00am. We were let in early because my daughter had an apt to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at 8:00am. We were done at the BBB before opening and held at the rope by the Carousel. When the main crowd got to the castle, they dropped our rope and we would have been one of the first in line to see them. We had plans to see them later in the week, so we decided not to at that time. However, we were walking by about 2 minutes till park closing time. I noticed the wait time was 10 minutes, so we decided to meet them. We were the very last people let in the line and we waited 5 minutes. Also, as a bonus my daughter got her picture with both sister together because we were last!! I would suggest either getting an early ADR/BBB reservation or getting in line at park closing.

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